Greipel joins Farrar and Armstrong in Santos Tour Down Under field
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Greipel joins Farrar and Armstrong in Santos Tour Down Under field

by Conal Andrews at 10:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
German sprinter will aim for third overall victory in race

Andre GreipelTwo time Santos Tour Down Under winner André Griepel has been confirmed as contesting the 2011 race in January, joining previously-announced names Lance Armstrong and Tyler Farrar in battling for yellow.

The defending champion is the third rider named for the race, and will be riding it as his debut event with the Omega Pharma Lotto team.

Although Greipel had plenty of backing in the past from the riders on the HTC Columbia setup, Mark Cavendish was favoured in the Grand Tours. Consequently Greipel has yet to ride the Tour de France. He was also passed over for the Vuelta a España this year, underlining his need to move teams in order to contest all the events.

Switching to Omega Pharma-Lotto should achieve that and see him going head to head with Cavendish in the Tour and other major events. Although the Briton is blazingly fast, Greipel is also very rapid and will relish the chance to square up against his longtime team-mate.

Greipel was the ‘winningest’ rider in cycling this year, clocking up a staggering 21 victories. He’ll be keen to get the 2011 haul started early next year, and race director Mike Turtur is happy he is coming back.

"It's great to see last years champion return to defend his title, which has been a tradition of our race each year," he stated.

"Greipel is a formidable sprinter and our race suits him well, so it will be interesting to see if he can be the first rider to win three editions of the Santos Tour Down Under."

The 28 year old will be backed by the Belgians Mario Aerts, Olivier Kaise and Jurgen Roelandts, the Spaniard Vicente Reynes, Australian rider Adam Hansen and Marcel Seiberg of Germany. Of those, Hansen, Reynes and Seiberg are also moving across from HTC Columbia, and consequently know the drill when it comes to setting Greipel up for the gallop.

"Everyone will be watching to see how Greipel fits with his new team, and to gauge his chances for the rest of the season and in particular his first Tour de France," said Turtur.

"He'll be riding with a strong team in Adelaide with great support from the likes of Mario Aerts and Jrgen Roelandts, who won the Cycle Instead Young Rider Jersey here last year.”

Hansen is Australian and, consequently, should enjoy some strong national support there. He will be watched closely by the crowd, and also by Turtur.

"Its good to see Aussie Adam Hansen heading back to Adelaide. He had a bad crash at this year’s Tour de France, breaking his collarbone, sternum and a rib. However, he's made a great recovery and is tipped to be Greipel’s new lead-out man."

The 2011 edition of the top-ranked UCI World Tour event will begin on January 16th.


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